The past week’s international stage highlights, brought to you via the world’s foremost journalism.  Gemini, the large language model from Google AI, and Perplexity, provided information, insights, and materials for this article (facilitated by Bob Shuman).

  1. “The Collector” Thrills Again

Source: The New York Times, February 23, 2024, by Ben Brantley

The Story: Ivo van Hove’s “stripped-bare” revival of Harold Pinter’s classic psychological thriller is electrifying. Brantley hails Tom Hiddleston’s “magnetic” performance as the enigmatic art collector and Zawe Ashton’s “fiercely intelligent” portrayal of his unsuspecting victim. Van Hove promises a “stripped-bare” reimagining that delves deep into the play’s power dynamics.

Playing at: John Golden Theatre, until April 28

  1. “Museum of the Unsaid” Weaves Silence into Art

Source: The Guardian, February 21, 2024, by Alexis Garcia

The Story: Somaya Lee’s experimental piece explores unspoken truths across generations of Korean women. Garcia praises the “delicate power” of the performances, particularly newcomer Hana Kim’s portrayal of a stifled daughter. A poignant tapestry of memory, longing, and history.

Playing at: The Public Theater, until March 31

  1. “An Extraordinary Ordinary Man” Finds Laughter in Loss

Source: Los Angeles Times, February 20, 2024, by Daryl Miller

This deeply personal one-man show explores grief and resilience with humor and heart. Miller commends playwright/performer Michael James Lander’s “raw vulnerability” and ability to connect with audiences. A powerful exploration of loss and finding joy in unexpected places.

Playing at: Ruskin Group Theatre, Santa Monica, until February 24

  1. “The Boys of Bethlehem” Build Bridges

Source: The Jerusalem Post, February 19, 2024, by Leah Goldman

This project brings together young Palestinian and Israeli actors to challenge stereotypes and build understanding through shared artistic expression. Goldman applauds the initiative’s potential to promote peace and reconciliation. A powerful example of theatre as a tool for social change.

Playing at: Ongoing

  1. “Shayfeen” Empowers Women in Cairo

Source: Al Jazeera, February 22, 2024, by Heba Farouk

This play about female empowerment sparks important conversations about gender equality. Farouk praises the play’s “powerful message” and its ability to challenge societal norms. A beacon of hope and progress on the Egyptian stage.

Playing at: El Sawy Culture Wheel, Cairo, ongoing

  1. “Carmela Full of Wishes” Delights Young Audiences

Source: New Jersey Stage, February 20, 2024

This charming adaptation of Matt de la Peña’s children’s book follows Carmela’s adventures as she accompanies her brother on his errands. A delightful and heartwarming production for the whole family.

Playing at: The Growing Stage, Netcong, NJ, until March 3

  1. Swedish Theatre Scene Thrives

Source: Aftonbladet (Sweden), Expressen (Stockholm)

The Story: Swedish theatre offers a vibrant mix of new and established works. Catch a revival of August Strindberg’s classic “A Dream Play” starring Lena Endre at Dramaten, Sweden’s national theatre. Other highlights include a new play about Greta Garbo and a musical adaptation of “Pippi Longstocking.”

Playing at: Various venues across Stockholm

  1. Berliner Ensemble Presents “The Caucasian Chalk Circle”

Source: Berliner Ensemble

The Story: Bertolt Brecht’s renowned theatre, Berliner Ensemble, presents a fresh and exciting take on his classic play “The Caucasian Chalk Circle,” directed by Andrea Breth.

Playing at: Berliner Ensemble, Berlin, until April 2

  1. Irish Theatre Boasts Noteworthy Productions

Source: The Irish Times

The Story: Irish theatre impresses with diverse offerings. See a revival of Tom Murphy’s “Conversations on a Homecoming” at the Abbey Theatre. Other options include a new play about the Irish War of Independence and a musical adaptation of “At Swim-Two-Birds.”

Playing at: Various venues across Dublin

  1. Chicago Tribune Highlights “Sweat” and “The Minutes”

Source: Chicago Tribune

The Story: Chicago theatre offers powerful productions like “Sweat,” exploring economic anxieties in Reading, Pennsylvania, and “The Minutes,” a chillingly relevant examination of small-town bureaucracy.

Playing at: Steppenwolf Theatre and Goodman Theatre, Chicago

Remember, this is just a glimpse into the international theatre scene. Keep exploring and discovering new voices that will inspire and challenge you!

Photo credit: Hana Kim, Playmakers

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